Swiveling his hips in pass coverage and rapidly changing directions Sunday morning on the Ravens' indoor practice field, former University of Maryland standout linebacker Demetrius Hartsfield planted and cut with confidence.
He displayed no hesitation.
That was significant for Hartsfield as he auditioned during an NFL regional scouting combine, considering that the former second-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the ninth game of his senior season two years ago.
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Hartsfield has regained his speed and trust in his knee since suffering the devastating injury on Nov. 3, 2012.
"I'm feeling pretty good," Hartsfield said. "I'm feeling pretty confident in my ability to move on the field. Without a doubt, I can do everything."
Hartsfield tried out for the Green Bay Packers last season, but he wasn't signed to a contract.
He declined an invitation last spring to the Cleveland Browns' minicamp on advice of his doctors, who told him it was too soon for him to start playing football again.
Now, he has a clean bill of health. He's been training with San Francisco 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman, who's recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament sustained during the NFL playoffs last season.
"Just doing this every day is what got me confident in my knee and doing rehab for my knee at Maryland," Hartsfield said. "Those trainers are phenomenal."
Hartsfield was leading the Terps with 78 tackles as a senior when he got hurt against Georgia Tech. A cut block from a fullback ended Hartsfield's college career.
"The timing was bad, obviously," Hartsfield said. "At the time, I was hearing I was going to be a late-round draft pick or better. Before I got hurt, I had invites to so many senior all-star games. I hadn't heard from the Senior Bowl, but I had heard from the East-West Shrine game and Texas vs. the Nation. It was rough on me."
At 6-feet-2, 240 pounds, Hartsfield has the requisite size for an NFL linebacker. And he was extremely productive during four seasons in College Park, recording 338 career tackles, 27 for losses, 8.5 sacks, two interceptions, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
Hartsfield also plans on participating in the Maryland Pro Day on April 8 while waiting to hear if he'll be invited to an NFL super regional combine.
"I'm blessed to be able to do that and happy to do that," Hartsfield said. "That's another opportunity to showcase my talent. I definitely anticipate being at a minicamp.
"My dream is still alive. I just look at it like it was a redshirt year for me. I look to be on an NFL team this year."